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Hundreds of ex-battery hens find new homes at charity's collection in West Norfolk

Three hundred ex-battery hens were handed over to new owners at a national welfare charity’s rehoming event in West Norfolk last week.

The British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT), which hosted the hen collection at Gayton Thorpe on Sunday, said it had received an “amazing” response to its appeal to rehome the hens.

The trust rehomes laying hens once they reach 18-months-old and are no longer deemed commercially viable.

British Hen Welfare Trust - Hannah Griffiths, from Norwich, adopted this chicken Bluebell, from King's Lynn. (22126979)
British Hen Welfare Trust - Hannah Griffiths, from Norwich, adopted this chicken Bluebell, from King's Lynn. (22126979)

The charity collects the hens from farms and works with a network of volunteers to find suitable retirement homes for thousands of hens each year.

A spokeswoman for BHWT said: “We rehomed 300 hens which was amazing, and we have to say thanks to the Norfolk public for getting behind us.”

She said over the 10 or so years that they have been working in Norfolk, they have rehomed 12,306 hens at events in the county.

The charity is now looking for a new location to hold collections in the Diss area.

Hen-keeping is on the rise across the UK with an estimated one million households now having hens in their back garden, making chickens the sixth most popular household pet after dogs, cats, fish, rabbits and hamsters.

Jane Howorth MBE, founder of the BHWT, said: “It comes as no surprised to us that hen-keeping is becoming increasingly common as we know better than most what amazing pets they can make.

“They’re intelligent, friendly and inquisitive, and soon find their way into people’s hearts.

“There’s something particularly special about rehoming ex-bat hens, as not only have you saved their lives, but you’ve given them the first chance to really experience what life is all about and it’s through that joint experience that gives us lucky people the chance to form special relationships with our hens.”

The BHWT was founded in 2005 by Jane, who has been the driving force behind the charity that now operates from more than 40 locations across the UK, supported by almost 1,000 volunteers.

To find out more, visit www.bhwt.org.uk.

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